Originally Posted by Hajo Flettner
My friends photolinger and dusty made a lot excellent points. I do think that the extent to which the masses are being defined by trivialities has gotten to the point that what has come to be known as culture is in fact just an endless series of corporate created fads. It also seems that such a situation is favoured by those that run the global plantation because rootless, fad obsessed consumers are easier to manipulate and control then are those that understand themselves as a unique refection of their ancestors with some sort of responsibility to provide a sense of continuity from the past into the future.
Dusty is of course right that the meteoric rise of faux moassel is a product of big companies finding a market. Consumerism of course is possible because local tastes, customs and ways have given way to homogenization making the tastes of what is readily available largely a matter of the lowest common denominator and economies of scale which naturally benefit huge multinational companies. American bier was quite varied and far more flavourful a couple of generations ago then it is now so bier fans have faced the same discouraging trends that we smokers have faced. The same applies to all forms of food and drink and anything else based upon craftsmanship.
The bottom line is that concentration of economic power is as undesirable as the concentration of political power if not more so. Moassel is merely a reflection of the anti-culture taking something sublime and transforming it into something banal.
True, but then, with the increase of the standards of living, there appears a new and much bigger market for luxury products. These where formerly limited to the most privileged, and where in some cases of fantastic quality (textiles for example). But when it comes to briar pipes, wine or food delicatessen, among others, the market for luxury products, made by craftsmen is actually surging. Take briar pipes: they where made and smoked by the millions just before the First World War. Now in England, where You could hardly imagine a man, and an army officer particularly, without a pipe, you see very, very few pipe smokers. Nowadays the market for mass produced low quality pipes has almost completely disappeared, but there never where so many and such good pipemakers, that is crafstmen, making high quality briar pipes. The same happens with some cheeses or beers, for example. We just have to make sure that demand (even for relatively few persons) for higher quality better tasting tobaccos does not dissapear in order to prevent the disappearance of Tombak, Jurak or good moassel. Lets hope the current trends will not be stronger, and that these products do not stop being made, and distributed, even on a limited scale, for a happy few connoisseurs...